Now that the admission process at Delhi University has begun, starry-eyed fuchchas (term used in DU for freshers) from all over the country are dreaming of embarking on a fun-filled college journey. Many of the happy expectations that warm the hearts of new entrants draw from Bollywood’s delusional portrayal of college life.
Hangout sessions lasting for days at a stretch, sprawling edifices in the campus, which could give a strong competition to any five-star hotel, girls and boys bumping into the love of their life on the very first day, the invigilator breaking into a song right in the middle of an exam are some of the countless instances portrayed by Bollywood, which are light years away from the hard-hitting reality of college life.
In an attempt to segregate the reel from the real, here is what some students of Delhi University have to say.
1) Class discussions
Classroom discussions portrayed in Bollywood flicks are usually not central to the plot, and are thus dealt with in a frivolous and shallow manner.
“The kinds of discussion that we have in our classes are engaging, challenging and intellectually stimulating. It’s a little unnerving to see the representation of such discussions reduced to ‘pyaar is dosti, dosti is pyaar’ as shown in the lecture delivered by the flirtatious Ms Briganza in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” says Mansheetal Singh, a second year student at Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College.
Bollywood flicks barely capture the essence of the academic pressure on the students, the and fan myth that college life is no work and all play.
“ It’s all a sham! Rang de Basanti showed how chill and relaxed college life could be and I was convinced that it would provide me with a respite from the stringent school routine. I was in for a rude shock. From unending assignments, to humongous workloads, to attendance issues, my college life keeps me on my toes 24X7,” says Parnika Deora, a second year student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women.
A still from the movie 2 States.
3) Finding the love of your life
If Bollywood narratives are to be believed, every student is likely to bump into the love of their life on the very first day, amidst violins being played in the background.
“While Bollywood movies amp up your expectations of finding the love of your life within the first few days of college, it’s usually not the case. When you are in an all girls’ college, the chances of finding your love diminishes to the least possible whole number. To be honest, the concept of finding love in college is overrated. There is so much more to fall in love with — the societies, the vibes, and of course, the food,” says Shubhangi Bansal, a second year student at Kamala Nehru College.
The anti-ragging regulation put into force by UGC has been hugely successful in curbing this damaging form of interaction between juniors and seniors to a great extent. The psychologically scarring portrayal of ragging in movies such as 3 Idiots and Munnabhai MBBS no longer resonate with the experiences of a DUite.
“ This is Hindu. We do not rag — is written on most of the walls of Hindu college. And the college stands by it, as do most colleges of Delhi University. We do have ice breaking sessions but I feel that they are necessary to make you feel comfortable in a new environment. These sessions are fun and full of laughter unlike the ragging sessions shown in Bollywood,” says Tanya Jain, a first year student at Hindu College.
Actor Sushmita Sen in Main Hoon Na.
We have all fallen in love with the idiosyncrasies of Boman Irani ( in 3 Idiots) and on the looks of Sushmita Sen ( in Main Hoon Na) as they brought their quirky teacher characters to life on the silver screen. However, the lecturers at Delhi University cannot be weighed against the parameters set by Bollywood.
“Portrayal of lecturers in Bollywood typically follow polarization — a clueless caricature like character central to students pranks and schemes or a sadistic teacher, devoid of all human emotions. Come to DU, and you will realise that there is so much more that every professor has to offer, which stands in stark contrast with the
one-dimensional portrayal of lecturers in the University of Bollywood,” says Alisha, a third year at Kalindi College.